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New Qualifications to Recognise Skills and Tribulations of Examinations Officers

At a conference today, new qualifications to demonstrate the level of training and commitment on the part of examinations officers are being launched by awarding body Edexcel and the Examinations Officers Association (EOA).

The awarding body, Edexcel, has been working with the partner organisations, the EOA and other awarding bodies, to develop the qualifications. The partner organisations consulted included the National Assessment Agency (NAA), the Association of Colleges (AoC), and staff from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). This, it is believed, represents a broad spectrum consultation when added to the EOA’s 4,000 members and the enormous Edexcel remit for delivering 5.3 million examinations per year throughout the country.

The Qualifications

The three new qualifications are dedicated to the task of improving the skills route and progression for examinations officers. The suite of qualifications, as they are being termed, will cater to all officers whether newly started or experienced. The qualifications are available at levels 2, 3, and 4, and have been specially constructed with a view to logical and clear progression for the officers taking them.

An emphasis has been placed on best practice sharing in the composition of the qualifications, and an emphasis within the qualifications is placed on communications skills and interpersonal skills. The examinations process can be a stressful one for all concerned and this improvement in relating to others within the situation may serve to reduce the level of tension, avoiding unnecessary conflicts. The qualifications can be delivered flexibly through Edexcel and have already been piloted through the AoC and Guildford College.

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A Critical Role Revealed

Jerry Jarvis, the Managing Director of Edexcel, commented on this at the conference today. He said: “Exams staff in colleges and schools through out the country play a critical role in the conduct and integrity of the examinations undertaken by students. The new qualifications recognise and engender the professionalism that so many of them display every day in their work.”

The Chief Executive of the EOA, Andrew Harland, added: “This newly developed qualification will embrace the broad range of roles of those administering examinations, raising the kudos and profile of exam office personnel, provide the education community with a highly trained, professional workforce and help to secure and maintain a high quality service to all students and staff.”

Jethro Marsh

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